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Review: Ping iBlade irons

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  • Irons, Price: 3-PW ($162.50 steel, $177.50 graphite)
  • Stock Steel Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold (S300, X100), Project X (5.0, 6.0), Nippon Modus 105 (Stiff, X-Stiff), True Temper XP 95 (R, S)
  • Stock Graphite Shaft: Ping CFS (65G Soft R, 70G Regular, 80G Stiff)
  • Stock Grip: Golf Pride New Decade Multi-Compound (Black/White)
  • In-Stores: TBD, Available for Pre-Order

Since you’re reading this review, there’s a good chance you’re a golfer who doesn’t rely on the added distance or forgiveness of today’s hot-faced irons; it’s your skill that’s responsible for great iron shots, not the technology in your clubs.

To play your best, you need to be able to feel the difference between a perfect shot and a slight mishit so you can correct the issue. When you want to hit a two-yard draw, you need to know your irons will do just that, provided you make the proper swing. You require the most precise tools, so you rely on a subset of irons termed “blades” for ultimate control.

Ping_IBlade_4_iron_address

A Ping iBlade 4-iron at address.

Ping’s new iBlades fit the broadest definition of blade irons; they have the narrow soles, thin top lines, short blade lengths, minimal offset, maximum workability, excellent feedback and soft feel blade players want. They aren’t forged like most blades or blade-like irons, though, instead opting for a multi-material, cast chassis that Ping uses to boost forgiveness and distance. Think of them as “intelligent blades;” they’re a much smarter choice for blade players who don’t compete for a living, and even some who do.

Ping has been attacking the classic definition of blade irons since 2004 when it released its first S-Series iron, the S59. The S58, S57, S56 and S55 irons followed, with the new iBlades being the most aggressive assault on the blade category to date.

Ping_IBlade_9_iron

The iBlade irons use a HydroPearl finish that’s similar to the one used on Ping’s Glide wedges.

The iBlades offer more distance and more forgiveness than their predecessors, Ping’s S55 irons, as well as more refined look and feel that makes them more “blade-like” than they’ve ever been. It’s unlikely that the iBlades will make a 15-handicap golfer a single-digit, but they can make a big difference in a blade-player’s game. Millimeter for millimeter, so to speak, they’re probably the most forgiving blade irons on the market.

Like Ping’s Glide wedges, the iBlades are cast from 431 stainless steel, which has two benefits: the metal feels softer at impact, and it has a higher strength-to-weight ratio than the 17-4 stainless steel used to make the S55’s, saving about 4 grams of weight from the design. Ping was able to repeat the weight-saving process in a few different areas: the club faces are thinner, the cavities have been hollowed out more, and each iron’s Custom Tuning Port (CTP) was extended closer to the sole.

Ping_CTP

The gram-by-gram changes added up to Ping being able to use an average of 23 grams of tungsten per iBlade iron head (the S55 irons used an average of 14 grams per head), but golfers won’t know the tungsten is there unless someone tells them. More on that later.

As in previous models, the tungsten weights were placed in the low-toe area of the irons to help improve each iron’s moment of inertia, a measure of forgiveness. According to Ping, the average MOI boost was 4.5 percent when measuring across the club face (heel to toe), and 4 percent when measuring from top to bottom when compared to the S55 irons. That might not sound like a lot, but it is comparatively. When the S55 irons were released in late 2013, the MOI increase over Ping’s previous model, the S56, was just 0.5 percent.

Ping_Tungsten

That brings us to the first ball our testers hit with the iBlade irons; “Wow, these are soft.”

The iBlades place 1.6 times more elastomer directly behind the impact area of the club face, leading to an impressively soft feel when golfers flush a shot. Ping’s designers call the experience “activating the elastomer.” Mishit a shot slightly, though, and the feel isn’t as pleasing, and that’s by design. The good thing about those slight mishits is our testers reported that they flew pretty much like their perfect shots. Remember, we’re talking about slight mishits, not complete impact disasters. Those will be punished appropriately. These are blades, after all.

Spec Sheet from Ping Golf.

Spec Sheet from Ping Golf.

Our testers also commented on how much distance they were seeing from the iBlade 3- and 4-irons. Those currently using Ping irons will want to know that the company strengthened the stock loft of the 3 iron (by 1 degree to 20 degrees) and 4 iron (by 0.5 degrees to 23.5), while actually weakening the lofts of the 7-9 irons by 1 degree. The pitching wedge remains 46 degrees.

The stock lengths of each of the irons has also been extended by 0.25 inches with the exception of the pitching wedge, which remains 35.5 inches. With the changes, Ping is now is pretty much in line with industry standards.

We say all that to say, yes, slightly longer shafts and stronger lofts help the distance equation in the long irons, but we don’t think the performance boost is only due to a spec change. The long irons are faster and more forgiving, and that will make it easier for golfers to gap their long irons.

Added bounce and a slightly heel grind help improve turf interaction.

Added bounce and a slight heel grind help improve turf interaction.

Our testers also appreciated the refined sole grinds of the iBlades, which have the same sole widths, but more bounce the the S55 irons. It’s a minor change of only a few degrees, but the testers told us the iBlades don’t want to stick in the turf — even in soft conditions.

There are several other small changes golfers may or may not notice about the iBlades when compared to the S55’s: some that help with performance, and some that contribute to the more streamlined look of the irons.

Slightly shorter grooves give the iBlade irons a more compact, traditional look at address.

Slightly shorter grooves give the iBlades a more traditional blade appearance.

For one, the grooves don’t extend as far toward the toe of the club face, a visual trick that makes the irons appear smaller than they are. Traditionalists will love that, as well as the longer hosels of the short irons, which help the short irons blend more seamlessly with the look of a golfer’s wedges, and also boost MOI. In fact, according to Ping, the MOI of the short irons (6-PW) is actually the same as Ping’s larger i irons.

Golfers might also notice that the iBlades have straighter leading edges and longer ferrules, which gives them a more classic look. Ping even removed the graphics on the back of the irons that in the past highlighted their tungsten weight. That’s because for most blade buyers, performance is about what’s not visible.

iBlade_irons_feat_2

With the iBlades, tiny mishits are going to fly almost exactly like perfect shots, so hold your finish when you’re fractionally off. Unless you tell them, your playing partners will never know you didn’t flush the shot.

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54 Comments

54 Comments

  1. Eric

    Jul 7, 2017 at 11:20 pm

    I’m a 7 handicap and narrowed it down to the iblade and i200. Both sets feel awesome at the local “box store”. I’m just hesitant to buy blades due to misfits Current set I have is Callaway X-hot pro 2013 model. Don’t laugh please.

  2. Spinsic

    Sep 7, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    Spent 90 minutes on a GC2 with a reputable fitter. I’m a 2 hc and have a 7 iron SS of 93. I was willing to pay any price for new irons with the exception of PXG. We tried various shaft and head combinations to achieve our target numbers while focusing heavily on what happens during slight mishits. I tried the new jpx tours (what I wanted to like most when I walked in), AP2 716, MB 716, MP25s, Apex pros and iBlades. Unquestionably, the iBlades stole the show in nearly every category. Shot dispersion was better. Workability is great. Carry distances where more consistent. Gapping is good. They feel every bit as good or better than the forged ones tried. Misses fly incredibly. The sound they make when flushed is awesome- not what I remember Ping’s sounding like. All around, they’re winners. As a previous hater, it’s easy to talk smack on these before you try them, but I’m converted. I’m glad to spend the dough on these puppies- they’re much cheaper than the 716 MBs that fly inconsistent yardages when you’re not a robot swing machine or Adam Scott.

  3. Jonny A

    Aug 10, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    I am playing the 2013 Callaway X Forged now but I think these might be my next set of irons. I love the feel of forged but I am not a fan of the browning and bag chatter. Plus, it really does hurt if I don’t pure it. If I can get the feel of forged, the durability of cast and the forgiveness of a cavity I can be ok with paying forged pricing.

  4. Pingback: Ping iBlades: “Wow, these are soft” – Billy's Golf Blog

  5. Pingback: Ping iBlades: “Wow, these are soft” – Billy Bondaruk's Golf Blog

  6. Justin

    Aug 3, 2016 at 11:53 pm

    I got fit today for a new set of irons. I was playing a combo set of titleist 714 Mbs and ap2s. I hit numerous clubs and the Ping iblades were the straightest and longest. Unfortunately I didn’t get to hit mizunos but the iblades were pure. My miss hits were carrying the same distance as good shots. I will be ordering a set tomorrow. The new ap2 is not good but the Mbs and cbs were nice but not as consistent or as long as the iblades. This will be the first set of ping irons I’ve ever had. Great club.

  7. Matt Mitchell

    Aug 3, 2016 at 11:27 am

    I seriously can’t believe I am agreeing with you but that was funny!

  8. George

    Aug 2, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    the marketing is tempting me to try this out. But i have to convince myself it is just marketing

  9. Justin

    Aug 2, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    I call it a “mashie niblick” myself

  10. mizuno29

    Aug 2, 2016 at 7:07 am

    You have to hit them before any comments can be made, they are so easy to hit!

    • George

      Aug 2, 2016 at 5:57 pm

      they are easy to hit casue they are cavity back cast irons not forged blades

  11. tlmck

    Aug 2, 2016 at 4:19 am

    Insanely overpriced for a cast 431 stainless iron. I figure with Ping quality and customization $500 total for a set would be more like it. At least they partially addressed to loft gap issue. A full 4 degrees between long irons would have been better.

    • Justin

      Aug 2, 2016 at 2:06 pm

      $500??? Do you know of any other full set of irons (at least 3-PW) from the major manufacturers that retails for less than $800? You want PING to sell theirs for $500 because when other “cast” irons are sold easily for upwards of $1,000? Hey, I’d love it if they were $500 as well, but we are in a time when the $1,000 iron set is not only standard practice, it’s starting to increase even higher than that.

      I’ve argued for years that golfers should either get rid of their 4 iron and keep the 3 and 5 or get rid of the 3 and keep the 4 and the 2 (or a 2-hybrid). For most, the gap between a 3 and 4 iron may only be 5 yards (although the flight may look different). These will hopefully help deal with that issue and if they do, I may get rid of my hybrid and order 3-PW set. I agree that a full 4 degrees would be nice for most, but you can get cast clubs bent up to 1 degree before you start to encounter structural issues, so that shouldn’t be a problem. In fact, I think this is the answer for most because you are adding loft without adding any length to the club. Golf clubs that are slightly too long for the average player have become the norm and it’s not a good thing.

    • KK

      Aug 2, 2016 at 10:13 pm

      $500 for the most indestructible and forgiving blade this side of a titleist t-mb or pxg 311? gtfoh.

  12. Mark

    Aug 2, 2016 at 2:34 am

    Look good from above but that cavity doesn’t even look that well finished off. And more than forged prices for a cast head? I’ll pass.

  13. Uncle Buck

    Aug 1, 2016 at 10:18 pm

    And are we doomed to the stock “blue” lie? Sheesh, you should see how high the toe is jacked up in the air. Hook city for a bruh with longer arms than normal.

    • Mark Walgren

      Aug 2, 2016 at 12:43 am

      ummm…. get fit, “bruh”?

    • Justin

      Aug 2, 2016 at 2:10 pm

      stock or standard lie is black, not blue. Blue is 0.75 degrees upright and that is why you see the toe up in the air. I don’t know your game, but based on your comments you should give the red or purple dot irons a shot. PING is the custom fit innovator and still the best. If they can’t make you an iron that’s best fit for your game then no one can.

      • Bob Pegram

        Aug 2, 2016 at 6:34 pm

        no one can … except a custom club fitter …

      • Gally

        Aug 2, 2016 at 6:46 pm

        Blue is the new Black. (If they are following in the footsteps of the i-e1 irons). Could be wrong but I think 38″ five iron and 0.75 upright from “black dot” is now the standard Ping “standard” — AKA “Blue dot”.

    • Bob Pegram

      Aug 2, 2016 at 6:33 pm

      These are made from 431 stainless which bendable. You can adjust the lies. It would make the color dots meaningless, but who cares as long they fit properly.

      • mizuno29

        Oct 7, 2016 at 11:43 am

        These things are very hard to bend, just thought I would let you know.

    • db

      Aug 3, 2016 at 2:41 am

      Just order a set with your correct lie angle, Bruh. It’s only going to take a week to get yours, you don’t need to buy one off the shelf.

  14. Bs

    Aug 1, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    How does it get 5 stars when you don’t even give us side-by-side hitting data chart with the older models and other type of the same club from other manufacturers?
    This review, again, is bogus

    • Jay

      Aug 1, 2016 at 7:12 pm

      A review shouldn’t be based off of comparisons to other things, it should have to do with the performance of the golf club, probably a bit to do with the aesthetics. ‘How can you say that movie got 5 stars when you didn’t even compare it to another movie’. Assume these were compared to S55’s, and the numbers are identical. Same carry distance, launch angle, spin rate…but they felt better and are more forgiving…would you say they can’t get 5 stars because the measurable numbers are the same?? I’m not saying that seemingly every club review on here doesn’t get 5 stars and it’s pretty watered down at this point, but at least have your reasoning for complaining make some sort of sense.

      • B.S.

        Aug 2, 2016 at 2:37 am

        But that’s not what happened here. And movies cannot be quantified except for box-office receipts.
        The descriptions clearly compare this iron’s stats (such as the 4.5% increase in MOI from the S55 as well as the lengths of the clubs, etc), therefore data evidence showing this effect should be analyzed before the ratings could be given.
        You make yourself sound reasonable, but the rationale for this attack is unfounded.

        • Justin

          Aug 2, 2016 at 2:17 pm

          There are a number of God-awful movies that have made a ton of money at the box office, so those would be considered a success for the studio and not the consumer. A single person’s enjoyment of a movie may look very different than a review by a critic. Look on Rotten Tomatoes to see how often the ratings differ 30-50%+ between the critics and consumers. PING normally waits until they actually have something better to release a new club than follow the standard release timeline that some companies do. Look how many pros are already playing the iblades… do you know how long it usually takes players to switch their irons vs any other clubs in their bag? Some players even switched the moment these clubs were available to them.

          You don’t have to like the iBlade irons and you certainly do not even have to give them a whack for yourself. But, if you think everything in this world should be based on empirical data, you’re gonna have a bad time

          • db

            Aug 3, 2016 at 2:43 am

            Enjoy living in fiction and other people’s opinion that mean squat.
            If they published proper data from actual hits, we’d all know the truth and the reality, wouldn’t we. No need for any stars

  15. G.W

    Aug 1, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    Very nice looking iron.I think the “i” must stand for imposter. They are posing as a blade while being a deep cavity, thin faced iron with a polymer filling to give a blade like appearance.Don’t get me wrong I think for those mid-handicap guys that want to say “I’m playing blades” they are perfect.I really like the lack of offset.Love the satin finish.

    • Ian

      Aug 3, 2016 at 3:49 pm

      Ya those mid-handicappers like Bubba and Louis… Totally agree.

  16. Steve

    Aug 1, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    I’m pretty sure your pricing is wrong. I heard from a pretty good source that steel was gonna be $1050 a set. Same shaft options as the I E1. Didn’t here about graphite.

  17. steve

    Aug 1, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    Over $1,100 for 4-pw for a cast so called blade? I will pass. Mizuno, Titleist, Callaway, TM and on and on offer forged blades at this level. iblade is Apple involved?

    • Jim

      Aug 1, 2016 at 12:51 pm

      I agree, that price for a set of cast heads is ridiculous when you can buy a high-end forged set for about the same price. Maybe if they were cast from 304SS or 8620 carbon, but $1,110 for a set of 431SS heads? C’mon now…

      • Justin

        Aug 2, 2016 at 2:30 pm

        431 has a much higher strength to weight ratio and overall yield strength than 304. 431 SS is a more durable material and 304 is only minimally softer IMO while generally costing much more for the raw material. 8620 would have been a better choice here if the iron were forged, but I think 431 is a perfect choice for these cast clubs. I think we’d all like to see the price of an iron set be lower, but I’d expect these to last just as long as forged irons based on how the Glide wedges wear (they have the same coating to my knowledge)

        • Bollix

          Aug 3, 2016 at 12:10 pm

          Wow how long did that take you to research that on Google? You do dumb really well

    • John

      Aug 15, 2016 at 1:55 pm

      Taylormade prices has risen 28 % this year ( I do live i cold far way Sweden but still) and Ping prices has risen 31%. The PSI Forged set (4-PW) will run about 1300-1400 € give or take, not including any ridiculous up charge shaft. A set of Titliest CB/MB, again 4-PW will go for about 1100 €.

      The point I am trying to make is this, Ping, Cobra, Nike (obviously not anymore) etc. have all started charging more for their clubs. Yes even Mizuno went up this year (I think somewhere around 18 or 21 % but don’t quote me on that). Golf is getting more and more expensive as the clubs get more advanced.

      Yes you could say that Ping is charging too much but I think they are finally catching up with other brands, such as Titliest. They are finally offering a club with similar performance (At least from what I found) at a similar price.

      Don’t quote me on the exact percentages but I think they are somewhat correct.

  18. Christopher

    Aug 1, 2016 at 11:25 am

    The do look nice, but I’m not sure if the cavity is just a bit nondescript. It’s just a big silver hole. It could have done with the PING logo. It’s also amazing we’re saying that the lofts are “weaker” with the short irons when the PW is basically an 8 iron from 15-20 years ago! We really need to abandon numbers on the soles and put the lofts down.

  19. Tyler

    Aug 1, 2016 at 11:24 am

    Not sure how they feel but they look good.

    Would’t really call them a “true blade” though.

    I have always found Ping irons to fly a little shorter.

  20. snowexcuse

    Aug 1, 2016 at 11:15 am

    Soooooo CBs are blades now? Gotcha.

  21. 3PuttTerritory

    Aug 1, 2016 at 11:05 am

    I’ve hit a demo. Threw the Proj X 6.0 in there (what up, Spieth) and took a few hacks. They are pretty much as described here, not a MP-5 or 716 MB by any means but much more forgiving than those clubs. The top line looks like a blade in its first trimester. Not bad.

    I carved a few around the launch monitor screen and then let loose, center hit felt great. Like biting into a cream filled donut. In my mind, I said, “That was punished.” The ball speed was probably about 3-4 mph less than Apex CF16, which is the hottest 7-iron I’ve hit and I’ve hit pretty much everything. So for all you guys out there with the Tour Issue X100s hard stepped till the cows come home, you’ll still be 15 yds longer than the average tour pro with these.

    But for $1300 (is that American dollars?) my lord, they’ll never get my TM 300 Forged out of the bag and if I had that kind of money, I’d buy MP-25s anyway. Come to church.

    • RollTheRock

      Aug 1, 2016 at 1:24 pm

      This is the single greatest comment ever posted on GolfWRX.

    • Other Paul

      Aug 1, 2016 at 2:14 pm

      Wow. Great post.

    • Tom

      Aug 1, 2016 at 8:04 pm

      3Putt were did you demo them?

      • 3PuttTerritory

        Aug 1, 2016 at 9:47 pm

        Just got the demo head in our fitting cart last Friday. I’d check your local Ping Fitter, aka the guy that’s qualified to use an extra long yard stick and the inflight program.

        I hit it again today, and it’s a nice club, but not as nice as the new Vault putters. Those things just make the ball dart into the hole. It’s like a gosh darn magic show. Tried those via a ping rep.

        • Justin

          Aug 2, 2016 at 2:57 pm

          While I love these iBlades I’d have to agree with you that the MP-25s are simply amazing. I’m deciding between the iBlades and a combo set of MP-25 and MP-5.

          When are the damn vault putters going to be available to buy? I’ve really been looking forward to trying these out. I really like the TR 1955s but have heard the vault putters are even better and that gets me excited.

          • 3PuttTerritory

            Aug 3, 2016 at 9:29 pm

            August 25th on those vault putters, playboy.

  22. Tom

    Aug 1, 2016 at 10:58 am

    Nice looking heads. No flashy badging and paint… ” it’s your skill that’s responsible for great iron shots, not the technology in your clubs.” I’ll use this quote.

  23. Jay

    Aug 1, 2016 at 9:41 am

    Have you hit them, or are you just looking at pictures and drawing a conclusion??

    • Christosterone

      Aug 1, 2016 at 10:17 am

      They are essentially a glide wedge set…so kinda 🙂

      -Chris

      • DD

        Aug 2, 2016 at 7:45 am

        I think his comment is something GolfWRX should respond to. The article could have been copy produced by a Ping Staffer for the amount of insight it provides.

  24. James Bond

    Aug 1, 2016 at 9:09 am

    Gorgeous set of clubs. Totally deserving of a 5 star review if WRX had some data to back it up. Shame they cost a quite a bit more than some of the best forged offerings from any mainstream brand! Upcharge shafts as well with weaker than normal options for fitters to use at no upcharge. But it is PING after all, and like Apple, they can do whatever they want and the masses will still buy.

  25. Christosterone

    Aug 1, 2016 at 9:02 am

    Love them 10/10
    Wow

    -Christosterone

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Iron Reviews

Review: Honma TW737-Vs Forged Irons

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Equipment

GolfWRX Member Reviews: TaylorMade 2017 M1 and M2 Irons

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One of the many benefits of being a GolfWRX Forum Member is exclusive access to Giveaways and Testing Threads. For Giveaways — we give away everything from golf clubs to golf balls to GPS units — all it takes is a forum name. Enter any Giveaway, and we select winners randomly. You’re then free to enjoy your prize as you wish.

For Testing Threads, the process a bit more involved. GolfWRX Forum Members sign up to test the latest and greatest products in golf, and then they provide in-depth reviews on the equipment. Being the intelligent golf-equipment users they are, GoflWRX Members are able to provide the most-informed and unbiased reviews on the Internet.

df5745825623a9697f92315cd9d8f1d7

In this Testing Thread, we selected 75 members to test a TaylorMade M1 2017 7-iron and TaylorMade M2 7-iron. Each of the clubs were built with the stock lofts and shafts — M2 2017 (28.5 degrees) with a TaylorMade Reax shaft, and M1 2017 (30.5 degrees) with a True Temper Dynamic Gold S300 shaft — and the testers were instructed to post their review of the clubs here.

Below, we’ve selected what we’ve deemed the most in-depth and educated reviews out of the 75 testers. We have edited each of the posts for brevity, clarity and grammar.

Thanks to all of those involved in the testing!

Brock9007

To be honest, looking down on the TaylorMade M1 and M2 irons at address, there is really not much difference. I would have to pick one up to see which is which.

The first 10 balls I hit were with M1 and 6/10 felt great, while the other 4 were toe hits, which I felt and the distance reflected that. Kinda what I expected with a club design for lower-handicap players. Distance was about 1/2 longer than my Srixon iron and dispersion was close, as well. I will say they did not feel as good as the Srixon on center hits.

Next 10 (ok, 15) balls were with the M2. Wow, can you say “up, up and away? The ball really popped of the club face, but wasn’t a ballon flight. Waited for the ball to come down and WTH, with the roll out it was 5-8 yards longer than balls hit with M1, and that is with a few toe shots. I did some smooth swings and then very aggressive swings and was a little amazed at this iron. Just like the M1, it does not have the forged feeling and does have a clicky sound (which I hate).

Bottom line: M2 is the longest iron I have ever hit. I love my 545s, but I could see myself playing M2 very easily. Matter of fact, I will be taking this M2 7 iron in my bag and play it more head-to-head against my Srixon 545 on the course.

deathbymuffin

These are both beautiful clubs. What surprised me the most is how much alike the two clubs look at address. I was expecting a chunky topline and significant offset in the M2, but it’s footprint looked almost exactly the same as the M1, outside of the chrome finish on the M2 versus the frosted finish of the M1. The M2 could almost pass as a player’s iron to my eye at address. These clubs both get A’s from me in the looks department.

The M1 felt a tad thicker than most player’s irons I’m used to, but it seemed to come with a bit of added forgiveness too. Well-struck shots felt good, with a nice mid-trajectory and with the workability that I’ve come to expect from a player’s iron. But true to TaylorMade’s claims, the M1 seemed more forgiving than a traditional player’s iron. Had a nice soft feel at impact, mishits didn’t sting and left you with a more playable result. A really nice combination of the better attributes of both player’s and game improvement irons. I’ve been playing with an old set of Tommy Armour blades, but I’ve been recently wanting more forgiveness for when I’m stuck with my B or C swing. Based on the early returns, I could definitely see myself bagging these.

I’m not sure if it’s the shaft, the design of the clubhead, or a combination of both, but the M2 is definitely a different animal than the M1 at impact. This club launches the ball high, arguably ridiculously so. I was hitting Jason Day moonbombs with this bad boy. Didn’t seem to matter what kind of swing I put on it, the ball launched high, flat and dead straight. The club was super forgiving and if not for the insanely high ball flight, I would love to have a set of these for when my swing is out of sorts. I didn’t really try to flight it at all, so I’m not sure what it’s capable of at this point. One other note was that the M2 had a clicky feel at impact. It didn’t bother me since it still felt so sweet… so strange as it sounds, clicky, but smooth and sweet at the same time. I think these clubs will be big winners with the mid-to-high handicap set.

The M1 is a fine iron, but doesn’t really stand out in any way from other irons of its class.

The M2, on the other hand, is an iron on steroids. I’m really starting to love this thing. It’s super forgiving and just goes and goes. According to my laser, flush shots were going 195 yards (my usual blade 5 iron distance) and very high. I can’t help but think golf would be a whole lot easier, particularly longer courses with long par 3s, with a full set of these in my bag.

poppyhillsguy

M1 feels softer than the M2 and I felt the ball flight was more consistent and what I want in an iron. The M1 did have a harsher feeling in my hands than I typically like, but I’m going to credit a lot of that to the range balls.

M2 flies very high. It was a windy afternoon and about 100 degrees. I love the high ball flight on the range, but I have a concern what that ball flight would be like on the course. I like to hit the ball different heights for different shots and I don’t think I could do that confidently with the M2, but I could with the M1. I don’t like the sound of the M2. It sounded “clicky” to me.

Fourpar18

Initially on the range I was scared because the M1 had a regular flex in it, so I took it easy for my initial 10-15 swings with it. Ball SHOT off the face, loud crack (didn’t care for it, but not too bad) and ball just kept rising and rising but didn’t balloon. I thought, “whoa,” that’s not what I expected…did it again…another CRACK and the ball just flew. I set another down and I paid attention to how it looked behind the ball, not much offset for a game improvement and I thought…”I could actually play this club!”  The 5-7 were EASY swings, aimed at a target of 170 yards away (my normal 7 iron distance) and with a EASY swing I was flying it by 20 yards or so. The next 5-10 I really went after it, same CRACK and ball just flew but to my surprise it was a nice draw, harder draw than the first but it was a nice 10-yard draw. This time the balls were landing just short of the 200 yard marker. Damn, 200 yards with a 7 iron! I know they are jacked lofts but it feels good to say “my 7 irons just few 190-200 yards!”

P.S. LOVE the Lamkin UTX grip!

Now, this was interesting, the M2 was quieter then the M1… weird!  Now, there is more carbon fiber added to this one and there is a “Geocoustic” label on the back. I am sure that it has something to do with all that carbon fiber but it does have a better sound. Other than the sound, it played exactly like the M1: long and straight. The REAX shaft felt a little weaker than the True Temper shaft and it flew a little higher but nothing else I could pick up.

noahdavis_7

Finally got out to the range after getting these bad boys in on Friday. My first impression of them is that they look really sharp. The graphics and design really stand out and really give these clubs a cool, modern look.

They were both a little to big IMO, as I am currently bagging Mizuno MP-68s. The M2 isa definite “game improvement iron”, while the M1 was similar in size and shape to my previous irons, Titleist AP1s.

They both really launch it, high and far. Ridiculous for 7 irons. I don’t have access to a launch monitor, but it was about a 20-yard difference between my gamer 7 iron and these (stronger lofts, as well).

The M1 definitely was more suited for my eye, and produced more consistent ball flights. It felt much more smooth and solid as the M2 had a clicky, cheap feel.

The M2 just isn’t for me. I felt like it was launching too high and ballooning, which could be due to the shaft (the M1 had the S300, while the M2 just had a stock “Reax” shaft). The feel off the face of the M2 just turned me off, to be honest.

While I don’t think I’ll be putting either model in play, I can definitely see the appeal for mid-to-high handicaps. Both irons were super forgiving, and they should be a dream to the average weekend golfer who has trouble with ball striking consistently.

golfnut5438

Looks: As expected, I preferred the M1 with less offset, slightly smaller sole and a smoother finish. Less glare looking down on the iron. I must say the M2 did not look as bulky, or have as much offset as I thought it might have.

Feel: This was a close race, probably due to the shafts as much as the heads. The M1 was just a slight bit smoother feeling on solid shots. But the M2 was not bad at all, just not quite as smooth.

Distance and performance: Our range has a slight incline up the length of the range, so specific yardage gains or losses were difficult to measure. Both irons had a higher trajectory than my gamer 7 iron. Neither sole dug onto the turf either. The lofts for both irons are a degree or two stronger than mine, so I would think they probably flew a little further than my gamers. Neither iron flew “too” high, however. Might be a little harder to hit knock down shots, though.

Final thoughts: I had hit both the M1 and M2 irons last year during a fitting day, but did not like either. This year’s model were both better in my eyes. I asked a fellow member at our club to hit both and he felt the M1 was his preferred model, and he is a 20-index player. So coming from both a single digit, and a high double-digit, the M1 won this battle of wills. I will try and see if I can locate both a 5 iron and 9 iron to see if a full set might be a winner for me.

DblEgl

I was surprised that the M2 was the winner in this brief session. It felt better, flew higher, easier to hit and about 1/2 club longer that my gamer Apex CF16. The feel/sound was better than I thought it might be, but really not up to the CF16. I could, however, easily game the M2’s.

Bstein74

Feel: I hit the M2 first, and found it to be very solid when hit on the screws. There was almost no feel off the club face at all. When I mishit it, you knew it was, but it wasn’t harsh at all. Hit the M1 next, and same type of feel when hit solid. Much more harsh when mishit though, but I knew that was coming.

Distance and performance: This is was where I was curious to see how they would play. The M2 went out high in the air, and just kept going forever. Now granted my eyesight isn’t that great anymore, but it looked like I got about 10-15 yards more from the M2 compared to my Wilson D300. The only thing I didn’t like about the M2 was how much I was able to turn it over. Got a lot more hook compared to my D300. Don’t know if that was from the REAX shaft, but would love to find a less spinning shaft to correct that.

The M1 wasn’t a great performer for me. Same height as the M2, but much straighter off the club face. Didn’t get any great distance advantage as compared to my D300. Can’t game a player’s iron anymore, and testing this one just reaffirmed that.

Final thoughts: Was very happy with the distance I gained with the M2 compared to my current gamer. Very good-performing iron for me, and something I would definitely consider changing them out if I could reduce the spin off the face. If you’re looking for more distance, you need to try these out. The M1 just wasn’t for me, but as a player’s iron, I can see it as a great option.

Bobcat271

Like the other testers, I found the M2 to launch the ball much higher and is 10-to-15 yards longer than my Adams XTD forged 7 iron. Of the two 7 irons I prefer the M1. I like the design of the M1 and its visual appearance at address. I feel more confident in trying to work the ball with the M1. The M1 gave me more feedback as to where the club head was in relation to my swing plane. If I had my druthers I would put the M1 in the bag as it stands now. Will continue to test, what a treat to compare the two irons.

myurick2

Once I started making solid contact with a decent shoulder turn, the M2 really came alive in my hands. Towering flat height, for me, and very long. No more clacky hollow feel, just a very mild pleasant sensation… then zoom. Once I started making better swings, back to the M1, which was a very nice iron. Shorter than the M2 (though not short) and a little lower ball flight. Felt nice and substantial without being heavy. Very forgiving on slight mishits.

But the M2 was the star for me. High trajectory and very long. Club felt lively and fun. Frankly, unless a player wanted a lower trajectory, or likes to hit a lot of knock downs or feel shots, I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t choose the M2. They are very attractive and a very fun iron. I think folks who say that the M2 feels and/or sounds clicky, clacky or hollow may be mishitting the iron toward the toe. I am not judging — I mishit a lot of shots at first. I agree on toe mishits the iron did not feel great. It almost felt like plastic. The ball still flew pretty well, but it wasn’t a very enjoyable experience. Not painful, just felt very dead. But when hit nearer the center, the iron felt fantastic. Light, springy and very lively. 

hammergolf

They are both good-looking clubs. Not too long heel to toe and toplines were not that distracting. M1 is more what I like to see shape wise, but M2 was not bad at all. Personally, not a fan of seeing the face slots. But I could see how some people may like how they frame the ball. 

Ace2000

M1 

– Has a very odd sound on contact, almost sounds a tad like a fairway wood “ting. Not a fan
– Looks very good at address with the brushed finish
– Most shots I hit with it seemed to fall out of the sky (very likely a lack of spin). Ball flight was much lower than I would have expected (not super low, just not much different than my 7 iron)
– Inconsistent misses. Next to no distance gains vs RocketBladez Tour 7 iron

M2

– Doesn’t look as good at address as the M1. Chrome finish at address is not an issue in even direct sunlight for me
– Feels and sounds quite nice to my ears at impact. Not a classic sound but very good considering what type of club it is
– Ball flight is very strong (comes off hot). Ball stays high in the air for awhile. Very high and lands soft
– 10-12 yards longer on average vs my 7 iron, it even had the horsepower to hang with my 6 iron
– VERY forgiving on thin strikes. Couldn’t believe how a near-top still traveled to nearly the front edge in the air and still went as far as the M1 did on a good strike
– Shaft is too light

Even though I’m a 2-handicap and don’t fit the M2 “mold,” I could see myself playing this club from 4-6 iron (although gapping would be a major issue mixing these with almost anything else) if it had a heavier shaft in it (I can only imagine how far this 4 iron must go… yikes)

M1 = 2.5/5 stars
M2 = 4.5/5 stars

tpeterson

Visual first impressions: The M1 7-iron is visually appealing to me as far as the finish and overall look. Even though it is classified as a player’s iron, it doesn’t seem so tiny that it would be tough to hit. I am not a huge fan of the bright-yellow badging, but I probably could get over it. The iron inspires confidence with its topline and a little bit of offset. The “rubber” piece on the hosel is a little bit funky to me.

I thought the M2 7-iron would look clunkier than it really is. Besides the finish being a little bit different, the difference between the M1 and M2 is actually pretty small. The M2’s topline and sole are a touch wider, but not by much. Not a huge fan of the fluted hosel since it can be seen at address. The M1’s fluting is only on the rear of the club.

I did notice that the sole’s finish did scratch pretty easily. Overall, I thought the M1 and M2 are pretty good looking, but I would definitely give the edge to the M1. I also preferred the stock Lamkin grip on the M1 vs. the ribbed M2 grip.

On course action: They both feel solid. I tried hitting both irons in all different types of on-course situations over a two week period. Both clubs launch the ball high but I would not say they balloon. For me, the M2 was about 10 yards longer and higher than the M1. Compared to my Cleveland irons, they are 1 to 1.5 clubs longer.

M1 loft = 30.5
M2 loft = 28.5
Cleveland TA7 loft = 33.5

I know this accounts for the distance gain but the ball definitely comes off hot compared to my set. I was hoping I would hit the M1 better since I like the appearance better, but that was not the case. The M2 definitely felt better for me and I felt more confident with it in my hands.

Discussion: Read all 75 reviews and the responses in our Testing Thread

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Equipment

Members Choice: The Best Irons of 2017

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To help golfers find the best irons for them in 2017, we enlisted the services of GolfWRX Members, the most knowledgeable golfers on the internet. They not only understand the technology used in the latest golf equipment, but they also test new clubs extensively. Following their detailed experiences and words of wisdom about the latest products is the perfect starting point for anyone interested in purchasing new golf clubs.

To gather their votes and feedback, we as a company first needed to properly sort the irons into categories. We aimed to keep the categories as simple as possible with 2017’s crop of irons, and we broke them down into three general categories:

  • Players Irons: Basically, small-sized irons. These irons have sleek top lines and soles. They place workability and control over distance, and for that reason they’re irons you can expect to see in the bag of a professional golfer.
  • Game-Improvement Irons: Basically, medium-sized irons. This category includes a wide-range of clubs that blend distance, forgiveness, good looks and workability.
  • Super Game-Improvement Irons: Basically, large-sized irons. These irons are juiced with hot faces, wide soles, thick top lines, big offset and a low center of gravity, among other engineering feats, that are often unique to each company.

Note: Because of the abundance of Players Irons currently available, we divided that category into two categories: Players Irons and Exotics Players Irons. The Exotic Players Irons list included players irons from companies such as Epon, Fourteen, Miura, PXG, and Honma, which are not as widely available for testing in the U.S.

Below you can access the full results of our Members Choice 2017: Best Irons lists, as well as feedback about each iron from the GolfWRX Community. We’d like to sincerely thank all the GolfWRX Members who participated in the voting and provided feedback on the irons. We also want to thank those of you who provided feedback on the voting process itself. We assure you that we read and consider everything, and we’re going to continue to improve our process in order to provide the best and most useful information about the latest golf equipment.

Members Choice: The Best Players Irons

Mizuno_JPX_900_Tour_Feat-1021x580

Vote Leader: Mizuno JPX-900 Tour

“WOW! Great mix of buttery feel and forgiveness.”

Overall, the Mizuno JPX-900 Tour irons earned nearly 15 percent of votes on the Players iron category, giving them top billing for players irons. One GolfWRX member said he was “weak in the knees from first look at the satin finish and compact size,” and that the “feel is excellent, and there’s just enough forgiveness.” Another said the JPX-900 Tour irons are the “best irons out there right now in terms of blending feel, forgiveness, and the ability to shape shots.”

Full List: The Best Players Irons of 2017

Members Choice: The Best Exotic Players Irons

PXG0311t-600x377

Vote Leader: PXG 0311T

“I can’t say I have ever hit anything that feels as good as the PXG.”

With more 21 percent of votes for the Best Exotics Players Irons of 2017, PXG’s 0311T irons were described by GolfWRX members as “a great looking club,” and that they “felt unbelievable.” When comparing the irons to Titleist’s 716 MB irons, one member said, “The fact that you can barely tell if it has or doesn’t have more offset than the MB 7 iron just shows how little it has.”

Full List: The Best Exotic Players Irons of 2017

Members Choice: Best Game-Improvement Irons

CallawayApexMembersChoice

Vote Leader: Callaway Apex CF ’16 

“Apex CF is simply the most explosive, best feeling iron I’ve ever hit in this category.”

Acquiring nearly 20 percent of votes of all models in the Best Game-Improvement Iron category, GolfWRX Members described the Callaway Apex CF ’16 irons as “simply the most explosive,” and that they “perform very well on center hits and almost as good on mishits.”

Full List: The Best Game-Improvement Irons of 2017

The Best Super Game-Improvement Irons 

PingGironsWRX

Vote Leader: Ping G

“The Ping G takes what Ping has done for years and added in increased ball speed, improved feel and much better looks.”

An iron that “will appeal even to Ping haters.” GolfWRX Members described the Ping G as “stupid easy to hit,” providing a “high and straight ball flight,” and “an eye opener.” The irons also accumulated more than 22 percent of the total votes in the category.

Full List: The Best Super Game-Improvement irons of 2017

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